LEED Tipsheets

Design and implementation strategies can help you understand how to reach the goals defined in LEED credits.

About LEED and LEED Professional Accreditation

The Cost of LEED Certification

How much does LEED certification cost? "The Cost of LEED" report explores credit-by-credit details relevant to any project.

Upgrade to LEED 2009? How to Choose for Your Project

Your project may fare differently under LEED 2009, versus earlier rating systems such as LEED-NC v2.2. Here's an analysis and some tools to help you decide whether to switch.

Video: LEED AP Credential Maintenance

Trying to get your head around the new LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) program and its credential maintenance requirements? This webinar recording offers essential guidance.

LEED-Credit-Specific Strategies

Determining Farmland or Floodplain Classification for SSc1

These steps can be used to document whether your LEED project site is classified as farmland or as floodplain relative to the requirements for SSc1 in NC v2.2, NC v2009, CS, and Schools rating systems.

How to Document SSc2 with Map Data

This page gives guidance on documenting SSc2: Development Density and Community Connectivity. For background, see the LEEDuser credit page—NC v2.2, NC v2009, CS, CI, or Schools versions.

Video: Achieving SSc8: Light Pollution Reduction

Key considerations for earning SSc8: Light Pollution Reduction in NC v2.2, NC v2009, CS, or Schools rating systems, presented at Greenbuild 2009.

Air Sealing Guidance for LEED D&C IEQp2

If smoking will be allowed in parts of the building, use good air sealing to stop transfer of ETSEnvironmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, consists of airborne particles emitted from the burning end of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, and is exhaled by smokers. These particles contain about 4,000 compounds, up to 50 of which are known to cause cancer. and pass the required blower door tests.

Product Certification and Testing for LEED for Schools IEQc4.1–4.4 and IEQc4.6

Since there are a limited number of products that meet the standards of these credits, project teams may want to arrange to have products tested by labs. Refer to guidance on that process here.

Product Certification and Testing for LEED for Schools IEQc4.5 and LEED-CI IEQc4.5

Project teams can choose to test and certify products for their projects. There's information on doing that here.

School as a Teaching Tool Curriculum Ideas

This document is intended to provide teachers with a starting point for the curriculum assembled for LEED for Schools IDc3: The School as a Teaching Tool.

Performing LEED Green Power Calculations

To calculate your project’s required green power purchase quantity for the Green Power credit, choose one of the methods shown here.

LEED-EBOM Strategies

LEED-EBOM: Eight Steps to Success

Getting started on a LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EBOM) certification project? If you want to start off on the right foot, or pick things up if they haven't gone so well, watch this LEEDuser webinar recording for essential tips and best practices.

Air Sealing Guidance for LEED-EBOM IEQp2

If smoking will be allowed in parts of the building, use good air sealing to stop transfer of ETS and pass the required blower door tests.

Guide to Sustainable Food Certifications

This guide to sustainable food certifications will help with finding products earning LEED-EBOM MRc5: Sustainable Purchasing—Food.

Environmental Best Practices for Deicer Application

Use this strategy page to support compliance with the deicing component of LEED-EBOM SSc2: Building Exterior and Hardscape Management Plan, or simply as a guide to best pratices for deicing at your facility. See that credit page for additional guidance and resources.

Exemplary Performance Approaches for EBOM IOc1

Use this list as a guide to Exemplary Performance approaches that are available through IOc1, Path 2. The list is sorted by ease of achievement, from credits that are more commonly achieved, to moderate difficulty, to credits that are considered tougher.

Doing the Alternative Commuting Transportation Survey

SSc4: Alternative Commuting Transportation, focuses on documenting your building occupants’ use of alternative transportation modes for commuting to and from the project building. Option 3 allows you to comply with the credit requirements by conducting a survey of your regular building occupants’ commuting behavior over a five-day period. In practice, the majority of project teams who attempt this credit do so with the commuter survey.

Locating 2-year, 24-hour rainfall intensity values for EBOM SSc6

Use this step-by-step guide to find the data you need for this credit.

Step by Step Calculations for EBOM EAc4: Onsite and Off-Site Renewable Energy

Use this sample method to guide your project in calculating the necessary level of onsite renewable energy production or off-site renewable energy purchase. If you are already producing or purchasing renewable energy, you can use these steps to determine how many points you’re earning on this credit.

EBOM IEQc3.3 Product Finder

Use this guide to find cleaning products that are compliant with the various sustainability criteria used for IEQc3.3: Green Cleaning—Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials.

Solid Waste Source Reduction Tips

Use the following tips to help divert solid waste from landfill or incineration, and increase recycling rates—contributing to more environmentally friendly operations and several LEED-EBOM credits.

Waste Stream Audit Protocol

This protocol will help you comply with the LEED-EBOM credit MRc6: Solid Waste Management—Waste Stream Audit. It can be useful in any situation where you want to establish a baseline for the types and quantities of waste leaving your  building.

Performing LEED Green Power Calculations

To calculate your project’s required green power purchase quantity for the Green Power credit, choose one of the methods shown here.

General Green Design and Construction Strategies

Air Barriers

An effective air barrier reduces air leakage, which offers several benefits: reduced heating and cooling losses, improved thermal comfort, prevention of mold and structural problems due to moisture migration and condensation, and reduced migration of pollutants.

Designing for Daylighting

Designing for daylighting calls for an integrated approach beginning in early planning phases and factoring in issues including building geometry and orientation, passive solar gain and loss, glazing specifications, reflectivity of interior finishes, lighting power, and lighting controls.

Green Roofs

Green roofs offer a host of benefits, particularly in urban environments where they can provide a visual connection to nature, reduce the urban heat islandA densely populated area in which pavement and buildings absorb, store, and release solar energy, making the vicinity warmer than it would be if the pavement and buildings were not present. effect, and help mitigate stormwater runoff.

Porous Paving

Also called pervious or permeable, porous paving allows stormwater to infiltrate the ground, contributing to several LEED credits while offering a host of benefits including improved safet

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